+64 9 303 1090 | artis@artisgallery.co.nz

Josh Olley

Hang in there

Piemontite Stone
1.2m high x 800 cm wide


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+64 9 303 1090

“Like we hang from a precipitous cliff face, vulnerable and precarious, this work captures the moment in time where we are extremely challenged by what life has dealt us, but with a firm grip, remain resilient and steadfast.

This work also has reflection of my own personal journey and relationship with stone itself, the difficulty of using such a resilient and hard medium, but also the rewarding nature of this challenge when met.

I wish to evoke a sense of compassion in the viewer to the struggles people face. It is an encouragement and acknowledgment of the hard moments. Keep hanging in there, as we can get through, and with help may even become stronger and more compassionate people.”

Josh Olley, 2020



During the early glacial advances, of which there have been several, chunks of rock were knocked off outcrops in the mountains and trapped in moving glaciers.

The boulders would have travelled for thousands of years in the ice, grinding against other rocks as they went. When the ice age receded, they may have sat there for thousands of years again, until another ice advance carried them further down the valley.

When the glacier receded, the boulders were left far from where they started, in a place they didn’t belong. They’re called glacial erratic’s – fitting, since the Latin root, errare, means “to wander”.

Hang in There was sculpted from a boulder found near Wanaka. This particular stone is Piemontite. It would have been once sediment on the sea bed millions of years ago, then as a schist it was caught up in the uplifting tectonic plates in the southern alps, extreme heat and pressure has morphed it into a very hard durable stone.



Pied (Foot), Mont (Mountain) is ironically (as the name implies) found in the foot hills of the southern alps of NZ.  It occurs in a narrow band though the Mount Aspiring National park.

Once sediment under the sea, nearby submarine volcanic vents deposited manganese, giving it the purple colour, also the green type which is high in Chlorine mineral. The sedimentary layers can be seen like pages in a book Mica is the sparkling mineral seen from the face of the stone.

Being unique to this area it is rarely seen, and even more rarely seen worked in art.